Travel News

Niger Republic bans Nigeria-bound flights - THE SUN

FEBRUARY 13, 2024

Government of Niger Republic has banned all flights coming from or going into Nigeria.

The new directive specified that commercial flights passing over Nigerien airspace without landing will not be affected by the restrictions. Nevertheless, it is mandatory for all flights operating within Niger’s airspace to have their ADS-B and/or radar transponders operational throughout the duration of the flight.

In a statement shared on X (formerly known as Twitter), the government of Niger said: “The airspace of the Republic of Niger is open to all national and international commercial flights from ground to unlimited, except for Nigerian flights to or from Nigeria.

“These restrictions do not affect commercial flights that fly over Nigerian airspace without landing there. However, it is recalled that ADS-B and/or radar transponders must remain on for any flight taking place in the Niger Republic.”

It added that the country’s airspace continues to remain closed for all military, operational, and special flights, saying the types of flights will only be permitted with prior authorisation from the competent authorities. It said the circular specifically concerns Niger and Nigeria and does not revoke any existing Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) in force. The circular concluded: “This circular, which only concerns Niger and Nigeria, does not repeal no NOTAM in force.”

US Airports Get Nearly $1 Billion in Federal Funds for Makeovers - BLOOMBERG

FEBRUARY 15, 2024

BY  Skylar WoodhouseBloomberg News

, Transportation Security Administration

(Bloomberg) -- More than 100 US airports will be awarded $970 million in federal grants, the latest effort to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure — a top priority of President Joe Biden.

The new funding, announced Thursday, comes as airports in recent years have raced to modernize terminals and add new amenities, seeking to ride a rebound in air travel after the coronavirus pandemic. The latest round is on top of the nearly $2 billion granted to airports over the past two years for capital improvement projects that include wider concourses, adding extra gates to accommodate more plane service and ensuring airports meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

“America has been thinking a lot about air traffic lately,” US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on a call with reporters Wednesday. “A flight doesn’t begin just when you settle into your seat on board. First, you’re in the terminal and your experience depends in many ways on the conditions of that terminal building.”

US airports need $151 billion over the 2023-to-2027 period to meet infrastructure needs, according to Airports Council International-North America. Passenger traffic returned to pre-pandemic levels very quickly, as travelers were eager to get back to business and personal trips. 

Among the 114 airports to receive new funding are Chicago O’Hare International Airport in Illinois, with $40 million, and Salt Lake City International Airport in Utah, with $20 million. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport was awarded the most money with $50 million.

The grants are a part of the Biden administration’s effort to promote projects backed by a bipartisan infrastructure law passed in 2021, highlighting funding for ports, transit, roads and bridges. The administration also said Thursday that it is moving to hold airlines, like it did with Southwest Airlines Co. in December, more accountable for better passenger service. 

Read more: DOT Fines Southwest Air $140 Million After 2022 Meltdown

Meanwhile, city governments have turned to the $4 trillion municipal bond market to help fund long-term airport upgrades. Just last year, agencies overseeing airports in Chicago and San Diego have sold debt to help finance infrastructure projects.

Read more: Travel Rebound That Rewarded Airport Bondholders to Lift Sales

In addition to having to modernize aging facilities, airports have had to adapt to climate change, preparing for more extreme weather events such as storm surges and coastal floodings. 

Japa: Passengers Travelling Through Nigerian Airports Dwindle to 15M - THISDAY

FEBRUARY 18, 2024

BY  Chinedu Eze

Nigeria recorded a total of 15.89 million passengers who travelled through the nation’s airports in 2023, which is less than 16.17 million that passed through the airports in 2022.

Experts who blamed the shortfall on the ‘Japa’ syndrome, said in 2023, about 2.04 million Nigerians travelled out of the country between January and December, while in-bound passengers were 1.80 million during the same period.

The experts however said in 2022, international carriers airlifted 1.9 million passengers from the country as outbound travelers, with 27 airlines operating international service from Nigeria, while 13 airlines operated domestic service.

Travel expert and organiser of Akwaaba African Travel Market, Ambassador Ikechi Uko, told THISDAY that expectedly outbound passenger throughput was higher because of the ‘Japa’ syndrome, as many Nigerians were determined to leave the country, no matter the cost of the ticket.

According to him, the total number of flights operated by international carriers rose to 12, 993 with 4, 534 delays and 65 cancelled flights.

“International operators also recorded 18 air returns, 47, 944 delayed or missing baggage and 43, 972 luggage found. There was progressive increase in outbound passengers on international destinations. In 2021, the number was 1,109,525, which increased by 700 to 1, 855,467 in 2022 and in 2023 it rose to 2, 047, 065.

Some of the foreign airlines recorded an increase in both in-bound and outbound passengers, but outbound passengers were consistently higher than in-bound passengers, except Uganda Airlines, which recorded 21314 in-bound passengers and 20371 outbound passengers from the total of 27 flights.

“African World Airlines (AWA) operated 1321 fights and airlifted 85, 850 passengers; Air Cote’ Ivoire operated 666 flights and 99, 151; Air France operated 494 flights and airlifted 213, 011 passengers and Air Peace operated 1, 358 international flights and airlifted 154, 285 passengers. Asky Airlines operated 1027 flights and airlifted 198,977 passengers and British Airways operated 698 flights and airlifted 309, 107 passengers, “he said.

“Delta Air Lines operated 349 flights and airlifted 142, 836 passengers; Egypt Air operated 630 flights, recording 170, 929 passengers; Ethiopian Airlines operated 1168 flights and recorded 495, 263 passengers and the Nigerian carrier, Ibom Air, which started operation to Accra, Ghana last year, operated 134 flights and airlifted 7,264 passengers. Kenya Airways operated 340 flights and airlifted 95, 187 passengers; KLM also operated 324 flights and airlifted 167, 626 passengers, while Lufthansa operated 742 fights and airlifted 262, o45 passengers.

“In the same vein, Qatar Airways operated 1338 flights during the same period and airlifted 537, 352 passengers and Middle East Airlines operated 108 flights, lifting about 36, 325 passengers. Other airlines include Royal Air Maroc, which operated 370 flights in 2023 and airlifted 115, 395 passengers; Rwand Air operated 439 flights and airlifted 107, 502 passengers; Saudi Air operated 162 flights and airlifted 91, 227 passengers; South Africa Airways operated 151 flights and 47, 999 passengers; TAAG Angola operated 133 flights and airlifted 18, 195 passengers, Turkish Airlines also operated 427 flights and carried 200, 087 passengers; United Airlines operated 143 flights and carried 57, 255, while Virgin Atlantic operated 348 flights and carried 184, 451 passengers, “he said.

In the domestic market, he said Aero Contractors operated 3711 flights and airlifted 592, 501 passengers; “Arik Air operated 5, 265 flights and carried 966, 447 passengers; Azman Air operated 772 flights and airlifted 120, 480, while Dana Air operated 4033 flights and airlifted 874, 241 passengers; Overland Airways operated 2556 flights and carried 187, 717 passengers; while Air Peace operated 25,232 flights and airlifted 4, 899, 591 passengers and Max Air operated 5, 094 flights and carried 940, 768 passengers.

“Ibom Air on the other hand, operated 9832 flights  and airlifted 1, 116, 015 passengers; United Nigeria Airlines operated 6, 093 flights and airlifted 544, 614 passengers; Green Africa operated 5241 flights and carried 527, 870 passengers; Valuejet operated 3591 flights and carried 479, 328 passengers; Rano air operated 2452 flights and carried 219, 555 passengers and finally the new entrant that was bugged by controversy, NG Eagle, in its brief service operated 86 flights and carried 11, 485 passengers.

“In 2023 domestic airlines delayed 39, 259, flights, which is 53 per cent of their total operations. The five airlines that led the delays include Dana Air, 76 per cent, Overland Airways, 73 per cent, Azman Air, 72 per cent, United Nigeria, 70 pe cent and NG Eagle, 70 per cent.”

The four airlines that recorded the least delays, he said, include; Ibom Air, 32 per cent, Valuejet 35 per cent, Green Africa, 39 pe cent and Aero Contractors, 46 per cent.

“But in-bound was optional and that is why the number was not as high as outbound travellers. But this year, 2024, a lot of airlines are recording low passenger throughput. Traveling has become more optional. A lot of Nigerians who in the past spend their Christmas abroad chose to stay in Nigeria to celebrate the Yuletide and that is why the hotels did so well,” Uko said.

He also observed that there is growing number of Nigerians who travel to African destinations, “a new development that followed the fact that many countries in the continent have become intentional in marketing their destinations and also stringent visa conditions and high fares could be disincentive to travelling to old choice destinations in Europe, Middle East and some Asians countries.”

“Nigerians have been doing African destinations in the last few years. Johannesburg used to be in the first seven choices for Nigerians but not anymore; Nairobi is in the best 10 destinations for Nigerians. But in the past it used to Heathrow, London, JFK, New York, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Canada. Johannesburg used to be in the top seven, but now Rwanda, Kenya and in the top 10 African destinations by Nigerians,” he said.

Industry insiders also explained that the reason why more people travelled in 2022 than in 2023 was because of economic downturn, which is getting worse by the day, noting that the depreciating naira against the dollar is a disincentive to travelling overseas because fares cost much more in 2023 than in 2022. Also, domestic air travel has become very costly, as average airfares increased from N50,000 base fare in 2022 to N80,000 in 2023.

Air Canada warns of higher costs from new agreement with pilots - BLOOMBERG

FEBRUARY 18, 2024

BY  Mathieu DionBloomberg News

 Air Canada shares tumbled after the airline warned it may face higher operating costs in 2024 as it works out a new labour agreement with its more than 5,000 pilots.

The adjusted cost per available seat mile — a key measure of airline expenses — may increase 2.5 per cent to 4.5 per cent in 2024, the Montreal-based carrier said in its earnings report Friday. Shares of Canada’s largest airline fell as much as 7.5 per cent in Toronto trading, the most in a year, and traded at $17.86 at 1:49 p.m.

Chief Financial Officer John Di Bert said on a conference call with analysts that the company is wrestling with cost headwinds from “lagging inflation” as well as regulatory changes and the pending deal with pilots.

“A new agreement with pilots will bring a change in wages and other cost-related items,” he said. “We have factored our best estimates into our guidance with a view of the Canadian market.” Regulatory changes in Canada over customer disruptions and higher airport fees and infrastructure costs might also boost operating costs, Air Canada said.

The Air Line Pilots Association, representing Air Canada’s aviators, is in a mediation process with Air Canada until June 1. The union has previously said it was looking to close the pay gap with large U.S. airlines, which have significantly increased their pilots’ pay in the past year. WestJet Airlines Ltd., Canada’s second-largest carrier, agreed to a contract in May that included a 24 per cent compensation bump over four years.

Pilots in the U.S. are paid 50 per cent to 300 per cent more than pilots in Canada, the union said in a statement responding to Air Canada’s earnings release. 

“Air Canada is one of the most profitable airlines in North America, but has yet to recognize the value of its pilots and compensate them accordingly,” Charlene Hudy, the union’s local head, said in the statement.

Air Canada reported an adjusted loss of 12 Canadian cents per share for the fourth quarter, trailing analysts’ average estimate of profit of 1 cent per share. Operating revenue jumped 11 per cent to $5.18 billion as operated capacity grew.

“Higher capital-expansion commitments this year should mean positive but lower free cash flow year-over-year,” Citigroup Inc. analyst Stephen Trent said in a note to clients. “Although the call included more focus on 2024’s ex-fuel seat-mile costs than we had anticipated, this year’s free cash flow generation still appears to be trending well above the carrier’s average pre-pandemic historical levels.”

Forex Scarcity Shrinks Domestic Airlines’ Fleet By Over 50% - DAILY TRUST

FEBRUARY 19, 2024

By Abdullateef Aliyu

The active fleet of domestic airlines has shrunk in recent times leaving many of the airlines gasping for breath, findings by Daily Trust have shown.

From a fleet of over 100 aircraft, less than 50 are active while many of the planes are either grounded or have gone for maintenance abroad.

Many of the airlines are said to be facing acute shortage of foreign exchange to carry out scheduled maintenance abroad while airlines that already sent their aircraft abroad were accruing millions of dollars in demurrage in addition to the actual cost of maintenance.

Virtually all the airlines are affected in the current impasse worsened by the hike in foreign exchange with the dollar hitting an all-time high of N1,536 to a dollar in the official market.

A comprehensive check (C-check) on a Boeing aircraft for instance costs around $1m to $1.5m which is about N1.5bn and N2bn. It is expected to be carried out between one to two years depending on the maintenance programme for the aircraft.

For a D-check which is the most intensive and comprehensive check on an aircraft, the cost could be higher as such a check involves structural check of the aircraft.

With the foreign exchange scarcity and the depreciation of the naira, many airlines are unable to carry out scheduled maintenance of the aircraft, leaving many of the planes on ground.

A visitor to the domestic terminals of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, would be regaled with dozens of aircraft grounded because they are due for maintenance.

While our correspondent could not ascertain the number of aircraft on ground, sources in the industry said the operating aircraft of domestic airlines have reduced by more than half in recent times.

One of the domestic carriers, Azman Air, had vowed to resume domestic operations last year but only one of its three aircraft on maintenance had arrived.

A source in the industry said, “The number of aircraft on ground that are due for maintenance or those that have been sent for maintenance abroad is more than the operating aircraft.”

According to the source, the development has disrupted the schedules of the airlines leading to frequent flight disruptions.

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) at the weekend cried out that they were facing existential threat, citing difficulty in raising foreign exchange to carry out maintenance and other activities that are essentially dollar-based.

AON spokesman, Obiora Okonkwo, said, “We are making losses on factors that are beyond our control. We are not only faced with the problem of scarcity of dollars; even the aviation ecosystem is feeling the heat. Handling companies have increased the cost of their services, airports have increased their charges and those that service the aircraft have also increased the cost of their services.”

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) recently directed airlines to align their schedules with the existing capacity to minimise the cases of flight disruptions with the attendant inconveniences to passengers.

Chief Executive Officer of Aero Contractors, Capt. Ado Sanusi, said, “The forex issue has affected those that have planned to bring their airplanes back because now they have to pay more naira to get their aircraft back, especially those that have taken their airplanes out of the country to do maintenance.”


Nigerian students are no longer interested in studying in the UK, new report finds - BUSINESS INSIDER

FEBRUARY 20, 2024


Nigerian students are increasingly turning away from pursuing their undergraduate studies in the United Kingdom. Official statistics released last week reveal that the number of applicants from Nigeria has declined by a staggering 46 per cent, more than any other country in the period under review.

According to reports, the notable decrease in applications from Nigerian students is believed to be closely associated with the weakening of the naira and the visa restrictions preventing them from bringing along dependents or close family members to the UK. The report highlighted that Nigerian students had the highest number of dependents brought in by international students as of September 2023.

The Economic Times of India also reported a mirroring trend observed among Indian students who are increasingly losing interest in pursuing their undergraduate studies in the United Kingdom. The report noted that Indian student applications fell by 4 per cent compared to the previous year, amounting to 8,770 applications.

In comparison, Nigerian applications witnessed a sharp decline of 46 per cent, totalling 1,590 applications, more than any other country.

Data from the UK Universities and College Admissions Service (UCAS) on undergraduate student applicants for the 2024-25 academic year also revealed a 1% decline in UK applicants from a year earlier. However, the overall number of applicants remains well above pre-pandemic levels.

Nigerian students had the highest number of dependents brought in by international students as of September 2023.

"While today's data shows a decline in applications from mature students, which will be more keenly felt in some subjects such as nursing, we know that these applicants are more likely to apply later in the cycle," Dr. Jo Saxton, Chief Executive at UCAS, said.

"For any students who missed the deadline or are still undecided on their next steps into higher education, they can still apply until June 30, and afterwards directly to Clearing, and plenty of choices still remain. There is a wealth of support, guidance, and tips on the UCAS website to help anyone make informed choices about their futures," she added.

In December 2023, the Rishi Sunak-led government announced a review of the Graduate Route visa, allowing graduates to stay and gain work experience in the UK for at least two years after completing their degree. According to experts, potential changes to the UK's visa policy may reduce the appeal of UK universities to overseas students.

FG to install biometric gates at int’l airports in March - PUNCH

FEBRUARY 20, 2024

By Solomon Odeniyi

The Federal Government has concluded plans to install biometric clearance gates for the Nigeria Immigration Service at the international airports in the country.

The gates are expected to be ready at these airports by March 2024.

The international airports in Nigeria where the facilities will be installed are the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Port Harcourt International Airport, and Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu.

When put to use, the gates would provide seamless clearance services for passengers entering the country through any of the international airports.

Speaking during the inspection visit to the Abuja international airport on Monday, the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, said Lagos would get 17 gates, Abuja, 10; Port Harcourt and Kano would get five each, and Enugu would get four.

He added that the facilities would be a game changer for effective and efficient management of international passengers in the country.

Tunji-Ojo said, “I am impressed by the levels and pace of work I have seen here today. The facilities are about 70 per cent ready. This means our border control management system is on track. It also means that the Nigeria Immigration Service is ready to contribute its quota to the National Security Architecture.

“The efficiency of the services provided by the NIS determines whatever we see in our security outlook as a nation. All these are being done in line with global best practices and standards and in consonance with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu to provide quality services to Nigerians.

“We have decided that the more the gates at the airports, the easier it would be for passengers to be cleared. And looking at the ones that have been tested, it takes about 30 seconds for a passenger to clear, so I look at the solutions and the hardware, and I think they are top-notch.

“Once you check in you don’t need to have an encounter with Immigration officers anymore except you are a person of interest. This facility is not just for you to pass at record time, no. It is also to secure the nation and add another layer to our National Security Architecture.

“If a person is a person of interest, he can easily be flagged. And this gives our Immigration support to be able to effectively do their jobs.”

The development is expected to end incessant delays experienced by passengers at the nation’s airports.

Air Peace begins flight operations to London March 30 - PUNCH

FEBRUARY 23, 2024

By Justice Okamgba

Air Peace has said it will begin direct flight operations to London on March 30, 2024, with the inaugural flight scheduled for 12:10 am.

The announcement was made during a prelaunch forum organised by the airline to engage travel agencies and partners involved in the upcoming London flight operations.

The Chief Operating Officer of the airline, Oluwatoyin Olajide, assured stakeholders that the London operations would be carried out daily with Boeing 777 aircraft and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Olajide said, “The service will be operated with our Boeing 777 aircraft and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, one of the most modern and efficient aircraft in the skies. We will be launching with special promo fares and attractive plans for agents.

“Operating daily, this service will also offer several other benefits that give Air Peace an edge over the competition. It’s a direct flight without stopovers and offers unbeatable fares. The specifics of these offers and other unique selling points will be presented as this engagement progresses.”

“We want you to know that Air Peace’s operational expansion and milestones are driven by our ambition to continually connect cities and ease the burden of air travel while fostering economic prosperity across nations.”

The Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, disclosed that all airline agents would receive a unified commission regardless of their size and status.

Onyema said, “What we want from you is to tell us how you want to make it happen. I have told them (the management) that we are going to have a unified commission. Everybody, whether small or large, will have the same commission. And please, when we are going wrong, feel free to advise us.”

The airline revealed that it had received an approval letter from the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Aviation as an airline that could fly to New York in the United States.

Commending the Air Peace chairman, National President of the Nigeria Association of Tour Operators, Ime Udo, appreciated the airline for its passion for making Nigeria first in all the company’s dealings.

Udo said, “I can see the passion you have for Nigeria, and it was that passion that drove you to do everything you have done for this country. We have embraced the airline as ours.”

The President of the National Association of Travel Agencies, Susan Akporiaye, assured the airline that her members throughout the country would support its new operations.

“This man is a hero in this country. Our members will support you. I want to thank you for this engagement. There was something he said to me that he forgot to mention. He said they were able to get to a terminal that was very close to the train.

“This means he is thinking about Nigerians. One of my very trusted team members had a discussion about these flight operations to London. NANTA has come up with a slogan for you, and I want to see how you can find a way to put that slogan in your London Fliers. We came up with air peace; our own.”

The PUNCH learned that the terminal for Air Peace flight operations to London is Southern Terminal, Gatwick Airport.

In November, Air Peace revealed it had obtained the Foreign Carrier Operator Permit and Third Country Operator Permit to operate flights to Europe and the United Kingdom.

World’s Longest Flight Delayed by Aviation’s Supply-Chain Woes - BLOOMBERG

FEBRUARY 24, 2024

BY Angus Whitley and Danny LeeBloomberg News

Business class seats of the Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 at the Singapore Airshow held at the Changi Exhibition Centre in Singapore, on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. The air show runs through Feb. 18.

Business class seats of the Singapore Airlines Airbus A350-900 at the Singapore Airshow held at the Changi Exhibition Centre in Singapore, on Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022. The air show runs through Feb. 18. , Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Qantas Airways Ltd. and Air New Zealand Ltd. joined the growing list of airlines hit by delivery delays for aircraft as supply-chain dramas continue to roil the industry.

Qantas said Thursday its first ultra-long-haul Airbus SE A350 will arrive in the middle of 2026, six months later than planned. That will then push back the start of non-stop services linking Sydney with New York and London — set to be the world’s longest direct commercial flights.

The holdup stems from a redesign of the extra fuel tank needed for the marathon journey, Christian Scherer, head of commercial aircraft at Airbus, said in an interview at the Singapore Airshow Thursday.

Meanwhile, Air New Zealand said its new Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliners are unlikely to arrive until at least mid-2025, delaying the landmark roll-out of bunk beds in economy class that were due to be available in September on flights to New York and Chicago. 

Read More: Bunk Beds at 30,000 Feet May Come on More Air NZ Flights to US

Boeing and Airbus are both struggling to ramp up production fast enough to meet soaring post-pandemic demand for new aircraft. The supply chain is buckling for several reasons — a lack of components or skills, certification holdups, and regulatory scrutiny on Boeing. But the fallout is clear: Airlines can’t meet the appetite for air travel, restraining growth and driving up fares.0

“The global aviation ecosystem remains under immense pressure,” Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Officer Greg Foran said.

Production slots for the popular Airbus A320neo family, for example, are sold out through the end the decade, exasperating airlines with the capital to expand.

“Even if you have money, it’s difficult to get an airplane,” Chang Kuo-wei, chairman of Starlux Airlines Co., said Wednesday in Singapore. The Taipei-based airline has ordered several Airbus widebody passenger and freighter planes but is still searching for a deal on the popular narrowbody jets.

Earlier at the show, engine maker CFM International Inc. said supply-chain snarls will dog aviation through the rest of this year at least. International Air Transport Association Director General Willie Walsh predicts the problems will linger longer, and said significant numbers of aircraft will be grounded through 2024 and into 2025.

Ryanair Holdings Plc said late last year that delivery delays of Boeing 737 Max aircraft had worsened and in January warned it may be short seven contracted deliveries by summer.

The latest woes with the 737 Max have added to the logjam. The Federal Aviation Administration has capped production of the plane as it assesses Boeing’s manufacturing processes following a panel blowout on an Alaska Airlines flight in January.

In addition to the delayed Boeing 787, Air New Zealand said extra maintenance on Pratt & Whitney engines on A321neo planes will ground five of the aircraft at any one time for at least the next 18 months.

United Airlines Joins American, JetBlue to Raise Checked Bag Fees - BLOOMBERG

FEBRUARY 24, 2024

(Bloomberg) -- United Airlines Holdings Inc. became the latest US carrier to increase fees for checked bags as the industry faces inflationary pressures for labor and other rising expenses.

The cost for North American passengers to check their first bag will rise $5 to $40 for all tickets purchased on or after Feb. 24, United said Friday in an emailed statement. The fee for a second checked bag will be $50. The carrier will offer a $5 discount when customers prepay online at least 24 hours in advance.

The move comes several days after rival American Airlines Group Inc. disclosed a $5 bump in its bag fees — with exclusions for frequent flyer members. JetBlue Airways Corp. also raised the fees this month.

Read More: American Air Raises Bag Fees as Industry Total Tops $33 Billion

While US airlines have been bringing in record revenue, costs also have been climbing, including for labor and jet fuel, the two largest expenses. New contracts for pilots and other work groups have included double-digit pay increases and jet fuel prices are up nearly 13% since the start of the year.

Airlines worldwide collected an estimated $33.3 billion in baggage fees last year, according to an annual report from IdeaWorks Co. and CarTrawler. The record climbed nearly 15% from 2022 and exceeded the amount collected in pre-pandemic 2019 for the first time.


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